Do you want to hear as many country bumpkin voices you could possibly cram into a single cartoon episode? Well too bad, because this week’s episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic focuses entirely on the whole of the Apple family, so if you can’t stand that country twang, stay far, far away. Being raised in the south, I can take the constant barrage of “y’alls” and such. “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000” was one of my favorite episodes as well, so another episode focused on Applejack doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me.
“Apple Family Reunion” is about, you guessed it, the family reunion for the Apples. Which means that Babs makes a return after only a few episodes. It’s almost like they’re trying to introduce more of a continuity and actually have certain events and plots carry over from episode to episode. Which could possibly mean that maybe, just maybe, Rainbow Dash will finally learn a lesson. But I digress, this week Applejack decides that she needs to make this the best reunion of them all, and you can guess how that turns out.
Poorly, pretty poorly. There’s trying hard and then there’s trying too hard and this is a classic case of trying way too hard. Applejack wants everything to be so perfect, but she doesn’t stop and think about why. We’ve seen these perfectionist stories many times before and even My Little Pony has already done it, “Apple Family Reunion” tries to focus on the more human aspect, less on the what and more on the why.
Applejack is motivated by trying to make something perfect for herself, she’s trying to make sure that everyone has the best time possible since they’re all here. She’s trying so hard that she doesn’t stop to ask everyone what they want. She has so many ideas and so little time to implement them that she forgets to even see if that’s what everyone wants to do. It’s something that happens to all of us and a good topic to focus on.
I was really worried that this season couldn’t live up to the expectations coming out of season 2 and I’m still not sure it can. Though, putting aside a few misses, Season 3 seems to be going more in line of trying to teach some solid lessons while entertaining and I can get behind that. Sure, we haven’t gotten that standout episode that gives reason as to why you should be watching, but nothing has been mediocre enough to make this just another kids’ show.
I know some people who will absolutely hate this episode because it’s lousy with twang, but I enjoyed seeing the Apple clan all in one place. In a surprising turn of events, none of the other ponies even make an appearance, which I don’t think has happened before. It’s a completely Apple focused episode and I think that it helped deliver a more solid narrative for it.